Emirates expects higher A380 reliability by mid 2012

Washington DC
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Emirates' despatch reliability on the Airbus A380 remains below expectations but the carrier is confident all the remaining kinks will be worked out by mid 2012.

Emirates president Tim Clark says the despatch reliability for the carrier's A380 fleet is currently running at 97%. "It should be higher. Those last remaining percentage points are those niggly little things," he told reporters during a 9 February briefing in Washington DC.

While all the early A380 operators have had problems, in particular Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Qantas in recent months, Clark maintains "it's a very good airplane".

"It's a huge airplane, an extremely complex airplane, a new airplane and therefore will have all sorts of bugs the designers and engineers wouldn't have foreseen," Clark says. "I think all the launch customers in the first three or four years will face things like water leakage and I think SIA has a rudder flight control issue at the moment. You probably got until the middle of next year for real maturity."

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database, Emirates currently operates 15 A380s. Emirates has another 75 of the type on order, making it by far the largest A380 customer.